Ignite Course Review – Igniting Your Career Like Einstein

albert-einstein-life-principlesRecently I participated in a professional assessment and I thought I’d share my experience here. Ignite is a service that is based on the core premise that what you do in life is most impactful, effective, and fulfilling when it is driven by your “most passionate curiosity”.

There are other factors considered as well, such as your strengths as well as the environment or setting where those strengths are best utilized.

Have you given thought, deep thought about where and why you do your best work?

Ignite Course Review – Igniting Your Career Like Einstein

I’ve taken assessments in the past to understand my strengths, or my “giftings” but this is the first time I’ve gone through a process that challenged me to consider what makes me most curious.

The themes surrounding my chief curiosities allow me to frame or position myself well to others complete with strengths, ideal environment, and when you are familiar enough with it the folks at Ignite say you can even share example stories from favorite movies or books which describe you!

In this post, I’ll share more about the assessment and more importantly how it is impacting conversations, specifically how I respond to common business questions.

Again, the premise of the Ignite assessment is built around understanding what one is most curious about. Consider Albert Einstein, who was was quoted, saying,

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”-Albert Einstein

For me, I’m finding this helpful, but challenging. Discovering your primary curiosity is no easy task. Fortunately I got some help from Tom McDermott the creator of the Ignite assessment.

Curiosities Not Talents

When I first heard this concept of curiosity discovery, I didn’t like it. Sounds too fluffy, after-all curiosity isn’t what get’s stuff done, right? Working hard does. What I realized is that I was thinking short term. Ignite positions curiosity as a long-term, life long pursuit.

The thing that helped me see that was a chart of some of past and present well known people who were paid and known for their talent, but what drives them is their curiosity.

Have a look:


The difference between talent and curiosity. (Courtesy of Ignite)

What is interesting about this chart is that it depicts Oprah as one who first did what she is talented at and fueled her passionate curiosity, then she did something much different, and has had a pretty rough go as a result.

The Process and Output of the Ignite Assessment

Ignite is an assessment course, really, a three hour process with questions harmonized by videos which explain each set of questions. Ignite is broken down into three main areas.

Talent + Strengths: Knowing your top talent is the main thing here, the supporting strengths are secondary.

For example, my output showed that my top talent is, “Thinking Outside of the box.” No real surprise there.

While my top strengths included four main areas:

  1. Thinking Futuristically
  2. Learning Continuously
  3. Problem/Puzzle Solving
  4. Being Diplomatic

I found these conclusions to be trustworthy and consistent with what others have told me over the years.

Ideal Environment: The premise here is that when you are in your ideal environment you are freed to do your greatest work.

Some people like the consistency of going to the same office and desk everyday, while others struggle with the idea of predicable routine.

For me, the items that comprised my ideal environment include:

  • Freedom from control and detail.
  • Information and time to make decisions.
  • Continuous learning in a team atmosphere where people share openly.

Passionate Curiosity: This is probably the most important part of the assessment. The idea here is that curiosity is what drives human beings to solve problems. This childlike attribute of curiosity and wonder should be recaptured as adults to help us maintain course and overall fulfillment in life endeavors.

This ties into what Ignite calls “Finding Your Calling” and facilitates responses of attendees to questions like:

  • Where are you most needed?
  • Where do you do your best work?
  • Where your most passionate curiosity and unique perspective will have the greatest impact.
  • Where you will be most valued and appreciated as a result.

For example, my passionate curiosity came up as:

“How some are able to impact society & culture in such a positive way.”

More about how this is impacting conversations with prospective partners and employers in a moment. For now, here’s a screenshot, it’s kinda hard to read, if interested, see my Ignite profile here (or click the image):


This one page view is a great way to provide a “snapshot” of what impact you have in the world. This snapshot view could be a great tool for potential employers to use once a candidate makes it far enough in the interview process, although my sense is it applies best to those in career transition/redefinition.

How the Assessment is Impacting Conversations

Colorado is where I currently call home. It has an amazing community of small business and tech startups. There are quite lots of opportunities to chat with entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to expand their business. Here’s a rough idea of how a conversation will go with a local startup entrepreneur.

Startup Executive: “What do you do?”

Travis: “I specialize in helping established start up companies ramp their marketing to go to seven figures and beyond.”

[That’s pretty standard, and hasn’t changed much, I will often reply with a question, and in response to that, if appropriate, I will share what I’m learning.]

“Lately I’m believing more and more that where people should be working is an environment where their primary curiosity in life is engaged. Kids do this innately, and I’m thinking adults do well to revive their own curiosities. For me, I’m curious how some are able to impact society & culture in such a positive way. I enjoy learning from those who make impact and applying myself in my own sphere of influence with prospects, customers, clients, and employees.”

Continuing further, if the conversation warrants:
“People often say hire for character or attitude and you can teach the skills, I think that coupled with passion and work ethic are key. I now think understanding what drives an individuals curiosity can be just as important.”

I find coming from a position of passion and curiosities rather than talents and history makes for more meaningful conversations.

Finding Your Einstein

ignite-baby-einsteinIf you are interested in evaluating potential or existing employees I’d encourage you to give the Ignite course a look. Perhaps you are in transition or want to awaken your career, the Ignite course will get you thinking. There is a financial and time commitment, but what you get in terms of direction and clarity I found to be well worth it.

I’m not Einstein and you may not be either, but make no mistake, the world needs the version of Einstein only you can offer. #GoGetIt

*Photo Credit: Harald Groven

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